Words  Kate St James
Photography Kate St James (c) 2017

 Palacio de Cristal – the making of an artwork


Inspiration for art comes from many experiences, not the least of which is travel to locations around the country and around the World. And while Covid-19 has curbed that event for so many of us right now, it’s the memories travel conjures that keep us enthused and inspired.

My recent trip to Spain, where my Sister now lives, and a country I had not visited for more than 40 years, was the inspiration behind a series of artworks I created on my return to Australia.  Once there again I was excited by the rich history and architecture of that ancient land, and so with camera in hand while exploring the towns and cities of Elche, Alicante, Valencia and Madrid, I created a series of images that were the inspiration for the series,
The Streets of Spain.

Around every corner, through winding streets, bustling plazas, markets, parks and gardens, images captivated my imagination and were caught with my editor’s eye for “the perfect shot”:  A line of washing blowing in the summer breeze; a delicate, glass palace of crystal standing proud in a spectacular city garden; an ancient Moorish building, somehow still standing and surrounded by equally ancient palm trees; a tree-lined street filled with cafes and market stalls – all of these visions were later translated into artworks educing glimpses of every-day life, of moments forever frozen in time.



Archival Inks

All of our limited editions are printed using the finest quality archival inks, which are estimated to last more than 200 years.

While walking through the gardens in Madrid’s Buen Retiro Park with my Sister, we came upon a beautiful, delicate, glass building, Palacio de Cristal.  This exquisite conservatory was designed by architect, Ricardo Velazques Bosco and built in 1887 for the Exposition of the Philippines, held in the same year.  Viewed through the trees from across the pond on a hot summer day, the structure takes on an ethereal appearance, which captured my imagination for a study of the local architecture
and landscape.

Currently used for art exhibitions, the beautiful structure of the building and many of its embellishments are still intact, having been restored to its original appearance.




Cashmere scarf by St James Whitting 




Happy art collector with limited edition 1/30 for his newly renovated home in Lithgow

Here is the artwork displayed at our Meandering exhibition at Gang Gang Gallery in Lithgow in 2019.


Lending itself to a Monetesque impressionist treatment, I curated this image and transformed it into a beautiful, painterly artwork, which was then exhibited at The Shop Gallery, Glebe; The Gauge Gallery, Glebe, and at Gang Gang Gallery in Lithgow in the St James Whitting exhibition of 2019, where it sold to a local resident.

LEFT:  The scarf, from our Art to Wear range for social enterprise company, VIDA.  Each of our designs for Vida is custom made to order by artisans across the globe. 


This study is now available as a limited edition giclee print, from 3 – 30, printed on310gsm museum quality, Hahnemuhle ‘German etching’ acid-free fine art paper, printed by our master printer with the finest archival inks that are estimated to last 200 years.

Hand signed and numbered by the artist in pencil and accompanied by a signed certificate of authenticity. Your order is custom printed for you on purchase.

Unframed fine art prints are sent from the SJW studio within 7 business days, packaged in acid free paper and reinforced postal tubing. Framed fine art prints are sent direct from the framers within 14 business days in a custom fine art travel box.For full details of St James Whitting and the artistic collaboration of Kate St James and Catherine Whitting please refer to our E-Art Catalogue in the footer of any page. 

Collaboration with Resene Paints

The Spanish Street series also became the inspiration for our collaborative collection of colours to feature in our signature range of paints, The Elementals Collection Coloured by Resene. The Elementals Collection fan decks are hand painted in the actual paint to get pure colour accuracy.

Our collection of artworks was then handpicked by the Resene Team and translated into a bold and vibrant collection of colours that are curated with art so that people can easily be brave with colour in their home and embrace change with confidence. All Resene paints are Environmental Choice approved to ensure our homes are colourful and healthy to live in! Be brave and breathe deeply. Here is the full colour collection


The most recent translation of Palacio de Cristal has been in the winter warm super soft and luxe cashmere scarf and wool wrap for our Vida collection that transforms any outfit into a celebration of art and colour. Along with leather handbags, scarves and apparel our collection is custom made to order with a social enterprise company VIDA, who contacted us to join their signature artists in creating art to wear.

It’s the journey of our design process and the relationships we make along the way, and the opportunities not the destination that motivates Catherine and me to keep on making art, independently, collaboratively, and then designing with it together in our online remote design studios.

Palacio de Cristal

Kate and Catherine’s exhibition at Gang Gang Gallery was a delightful event that showcased the extensive collection of their individual and collaborative art in both original and limited edition prints,. I am delighted to represent this dynamic duo on The Curious Art Bar 

Barbara Hamilton

Curator, The Curious Art Bar



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